Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Tom Parkin writes about the need for workers to be at the centre of a Green New Deal for Canada:
Those determined to reverse austerity, inequality and environmental damage need to help Canadians be clear that there’s a huge difference between a Green New Deal and a Green Neoliberal Deal. Something new that reproduces the same old downward pressure on wages, the same tax unfairness, the same lobbyist machine at the heart of the system – and the same bonanza pay-off for investors -- is no Green New Deal.

Policy designers also need to resist thinking a Green New Deal is just a stimulus package – a one-time boost of money to get the decarbonizing job done. An initial flush of stimulus should launch it, but a new deal isn’t temporary, it’s a re-setting of the economic model -- a change that keeps needed investments flowing and delivers economic benefits more equally.
Architects of a Green New Deal for Canadians can use federal authority where there is jurisdiction. They can re-establish co-operative federalism by reversing the tax-cut spiral and rebuilding provincial trust. And when that work is done, a Green New Deal can set out specific strategies that encourage provincial participation and shift the economic model to support public services, reduce inequality and decarbonize the economy. 

That policy work is challenging enough. But perhaps the biggest and most immediate challenge is to ensure working people get engaged -- that Canadians can spot a sham deal, and know a real Green New Deal is focused on improving their lives. Even the most artful federalism and smart policy crafting won’t amount to much if those it aims to benefit don’t want it.
- Susan Lazaruk reports on Vancouver's set of "big moves" to respond to a climate emergency, while the federal NDP has unveiled a full building retrofitting plan as the first plank in its climate platform. And David Roberts interviews Paul Hawken about his detailed set of plans to rein in and reverse global warming - featuring this tidbit on the only action the Saskatchewan Party can claim:

David Roberts

How big a role does carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) play in your schema?

Paul Hawken

None. It’s unaffordable. It doesn’t work. It has to work first, and then has to be affordable. Using carbon capture in Saskatchewan for depleted oil wells isn’t exactly a solution, especially when it’s only 40 percent capture and the company’s depending on the province to subsidize it.
- Meanwhile, the Canadian Press reports on the continued increase in Canada's greenhouse gas emissions even based on reported figures. And Zach Dubinsky reports on Environment Canada's revelation that tar sands operations are spewing 64 per cent more carbon emissions than they've previously acknowledged.

- Greg Jericho points out how Australia's citizens are among many who severely underestimate how unequally wealth is distributed in their country.

- Finally, Nora Loreto writes that online hate is threatening to undo what limited progress has been made in encouraging gender balance in Canadian politics. And Jonny Wakefield reports on new research documenting the dangers of hate-motivated violence in Alberta.

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